Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Moorhen (Gallinula angulata)


French: Gallinule africaine German: Zwergteichhuhn Spanish: Gallineta chica

Gallinula angulata


, 1850,

Lower Caffraria (= KwaZulu-Natal), South Africa


In the light of a recent molecular phylogenetic analysis#R, a separate monotypic genus, Paragallinula, has been proposed for present species#R. Monotypic.


Senegal and Gambia E to Ethiopia, and S to N & E Namibia, Botswana and NE South Africa.

Descriptive notes

22–23 cm; male 145–164 (155) g, female 92–137 (109) g, 1 unsexed 149 g. Like small version of G. chloropus, but paler overall, appearing mainly... read more


Calls resemble those of G. chloropus and include: rapid series of clucking notes; series... read more


Permanent and temporary freshwater wetlands, such as papyrus swamps, reedbeds, marshes with rushes... read more

Food and feeding

Molluscs, insects (especially beetles), vegetable matter including seeds and flowers of reeds; also (in captivity) termites. Forages while... read more


Senegal and Gambia, breeding condition Aug; Sierra Leone, Nov; Nigeria, Jul–Sept; Ghana, Jun; Gabon, Feb; Chad, Aug; Sudan, Aug;... read more


Some birds resident year-round in permanently suitable habitats, but many are wet-season migrants.... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and locally common over much of range but, as with Porphyrio alleni, erratic nature of its occurrence in seasonal... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. (2019). Lesser Moorhen (Gallinula angulata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).